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NZDF find missing Kiribati fishermen

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/11/2016

A New Zealand Air Force plane plans to drop emergency supplies to three fisherman drifting off the coast of Kiribati.

The Orion surveillance aircraft spotted the men waving from their boat at around 10.30am on Wednesday as it drifted about 550 kilometres west of Tarawa, Kiribati's capital.

The men, aged from 34 to 61, appeared to be in good health, New Zealand's Defence Force said.

The men had been missing since November 1 after they were last seen leaving Tarawa in a five-metre wooden fishing boat.

The Orion plans to drop the men emergency supplies consisting of food, water and a radio and is contacting ships in the area asking them to pick the fishermen up.

The successful mission comes as New Zealand helicopters and Orion aircraft have flown nearly 180 flying hours on search and rescue missions in the country and the south-west Pacific since January.

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